We had lately tenth anniversary of TE. In such an occasion we like to think how it was earlier. I have an impression that lately TE slowed down considerably. So I made a small research :). I looked at one month in every year, I just took October. How many photos were posted in consecutive years (in 2002 it was November):
In 2012 it will be near 5000.
The number 23726 seemed to me incredible, so I checked just one day,
15 10 2006 - there were 743 photos posted.
What do you think? What are the reasons TE seems not so attractive as it was?
The Trek Tragedy
Grown-up people donít like to be treated like children, thatís why they leave the Trek sites.
The problem you have illustrated so well by numbers is basically due to poor moderation. In the beginning it seems like that kind of behaviour to some extent could pass since the competition wasn't that hard. And the Trek concept was special. Not so anymore, today the alternatives are numerous and most of the other photo sites are a lot better. Above all they treat the members in a decent way.
If the site owner doesn't deal with this problem I fear the Trek era soon will be overÖ
This is the sad truth.
The days of 700+ images being posted per day are long gone and to be perfectly honest I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing. People even now complain about not receiving any feedback with about 1/4 of the images being posted so the problem was even worse then. 700 images is roughly 40 pages of images per day, which means that on average an image disappeared from page 1 in about half an hour. I suspect many members, and I include myself in that number, don't have time to look through 40 screens of images each day. The result of that is the people get disheartened with the lack of feedback and some leave the site because of that. Others feel overwhelmed by the number of images and no longer provide the level of feedback they did in the past.
Fewer posted images and greater interaction amongst members could and should be beneficial to all members.
I don't think it is related to moderators attutude. This is a problem that after all concerns very few people that had one of their photo removed because somehow they violated the TE rules. I had a couple of pictures removed myself (over 700 hundreds or more that I have posted) and I just accepetd it withour any violent (and ridiculous, in my opinion) reaction.
I think that the real problem of TE now is the lack of HONEST feedback.
I really underline this: HONEST feedback.
I think there are a variety of reasons people move on from TE. There are obviously more photographic communities on-line than there were and for people who are more into photography than the combination of photography, travel and learning about the world will probably look elsewhere.
One thing I have seen is that past members have used TE as a jumping off platform for their work. People like Adam Burton and John Freeman (two ex-members that come to mind) both pursue photographic careers now and have their own websites. I am sure others have left for similar reasons.
I have noticed that a few people only join up here to showcase their work and from the go-get have links to their personal sites where one can buy prints. They don't really participate in the critiquing at all.
As for numbers, I agree with Keith, fewer uploads means fewer images to scan for critiquing purposes and the more chance of feedback on your own work and a better chance for positive member interaction. Small can be beautiful
In the ten years since TE began the site has become a commercial enterprise and obviously not the same as it was, the goal now is money-making. Not everybody likes (or liked) these changes.
I think Stefano makes a valid point about feedback, there are very few members (in my experience) that give really good, objective feedback and indeed some members are unhappy if they get it and others unhappy if the don't.
The site means different things to different people and people have varied expectations and levels of involvement. That is the nature of people. People come and people go.
And finally regarding the moderators and image removal... yes it happens. Is it a reason to up-sticks and leave? Probably not, but maybe moving to a photographic site with fewer constraints allows the photographer to develop in other genres.
Have a nice day ;)
A member emerges from his self-imposed 'exile' just to have a crack again at the Moderators, using an apparently innocent and interesting question from a member as another golden opportunity to blame them for everything.
I notice this member created an account on photofolia.net, a site set up by a few disaffected members of TE, and since joined by numerous others, including some who didn't like having a photo removed after it broke the TE Terms of Service. In his own words in his photofolia 'intro', Pablo has 'left the building', leaving behind only one photo since he joined that 'better' photo site 18 months ago.
I ask, did he retire from all activity on photofolia because of the moderators? Has that site gathered only 448 members because of its moderators? Why do only 10 to 15 photos appear each day in the photofolia gallery, most of which are uploaded by a few members? Why have so many TE members joined photofolia but not given up TE? Why have so many of them joined a photo site which they thought might be 'better' but uploaded only one or two photos in more than a year, or none at all?
Further, why has the member who came to this thread equally predictably just to moan 'This is the sad truth' posted only two photos himself on photofolia since he became a member nearly 2 years ago, the most recent in December, 2011? He keeps posting his very good photos and detailed notes here on TE despite leading us all to think he will be leaving us at any moment because the mods are hopeless.
I don't intend this as a criticism of photofolia at all; I'm just using it as an example to make a point. Some may think these questions are irrelevant or just rhetorical, but perhaps they hold the answer to the original question posed by Malgorzata. Clearly, there are other reasons why the number of photos uploaded has declined while the TE membership has stabilised or even grown. I say that these factors affect sites like photofolia too. Thanks, Stefano, for suggesting one of the possible reasons for the decline, which has nothing at all to do with the moderation.
To me, the main reason for the decline in numbers might be found in the phenomenal growth of other photo display or storage sites, and the ease with which an amateur photographer can now set up his or her own blog or website.
I think the problem which Stefano mentioned relates to a negative feedback loop in which fewer members post critiques, perhaps because they are content merely to display their shots; and the declining amount of feedback, even if only in the form of reciprocation rather than constructive advice, only serves to discourage those who do depend on feedback ('honest' or not) to maintain their enthusiasm.
What IS the 'sad truth' is the fact that the number of people joining TE each day seems to be still quite large, but the newer members do not appear to be as interested or involved as those who joined in earlier years, and the vast majority of them upload no shots and send no critiques in their first 6 months. I know this, because I have researched it. On any site like ours there will always be a 'turnover' or 'churn' of members; while some lose interest over time, they are replaced by new ones. So, the 'sad truth' is that the new ones are not becoming as active as the departing ones.
Therefore, if active members perceive that their own AUDIENCE has declined while the membership has remained the same or actually grown (it's now about 120,000), perhaps Keith and Stefano are right in suggesting that we should concentrate on greater interaction and friendly, constructive and honest feedback, which might attract more active members and/or inspire existing members to upload more often.
Finally, perhaps the site itself does need some changes, and constructive suggestions would go a lot further to improve the site than absurdly blaming the Moderators for everything. I don't try to exonerate present or past moderators for errors of judgment that may have been made, but I do resent the constant, carping criticism from certain quarters, and the childish petulance of those who choose to leave because one photo was removed.
an easy suggestion
An easy thing to implement could be to make TE more web2.0
For eample allowing each image or gallery to be linked to facebook.
Is it possible ? Then one could share his photo with a facebook community and spread his image around to a wider audience.
Really sad truth
These indirect allusions are simply insults disguised and unworthy, against me, which are not used at all to advance the site's audience.
My post in the forum was just plain observation without any accusations. The result is quite obvious - every year, every month the number of posts is decreasing. One can look at it as a dynamical process depending on many factors. It is the result of behaviours of many people and there is not single reason. One feels offended, one has no time, one is bored, one is interested in different things... I look at it as a physicist and I am deeply concerned. Is there any chance to stop the process? In summer it was around 4600 posts per month. How it will be next year? Less than 4000? Around 3000? Maybe it would be the time to think about making the site more attractive, as fascinating as it used to be, before it is too late.
I do agree with Rosemary in many points, there are now many other sites, some former TE members have their own sites or became professionals well appreciated. I agree that some TE members acted in exaggerated manner and too rush. But I do not agree that when there were more posts there were less feedback. We can post only one photo per day, so more posts means much more ACTIVE members. More photos to comment, more people to write critiques- not easy to say what is the effect. I think there was more feedback, I learned a lot in that time. The people got more points but it is difficult to check as the points accumulated.
Photofolia is a nice friendly site but it is a small community. Fotopedia is interesting but it is quite different.
I, personally, think that TE now became a bit boring, with less creativity and fun.
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